By Janet Raine (Creative Writing Group).
“MALE MEMBERS WANTED” a radio play by the Creative Writing Group
Last Spring the Creative Writing Group was challenged, by Somerset Film & video (which exists to promote ﬁlm and digital media making in Somerset and the South West), to create a radio play for broadcast on local radio. 10Radio broadcasts on 105.3 FM and www.10radio.org out of Wiveliscombe to the 10 parishes, hence its name.
The Creative Writing Group were rather bemused by this request since we were in the habit of producing mostly prose and poetry. It seemed a monumental task for 7 disparate writers to cooperate in the production of a radio play. Fortunately Grace came up with a scenario: a local Amateur Dramatic Group looking for new male actors in order to put on their next performance. We were all allotted characters and worked on our own lines. A lot of extra meetings, revision and discussions were involved and our efforts were being pooled by Linda. Finally it all came together and Richard Tomlinson, from Somerset Film came to one of our meetings to record the play.
This was an unusual experience for most of us: having to raise our hands when our character was about to speak, then having the woolly microphone shoved under our noses to catch these lines. Kathy having her part recorded separately as it is mostly ‘asides’ and incorporating sound effects of hoovering, tea making and so on. In fact, the afternoon’s recording session might have produced a wittier play than all our efforts as playwrights.
A few weeks later we were invited to meet Richard at the Engine Room in Bridgwater, headquarters of Somerset Film & Video. We were treated to coffee and a tour of the premises, where we noted portrait photographs of some U3A members , taken by the photography group. Then Richard drove us over to Wiveliscombe to record an interview and broadcast our play. Only five of the group were able to attend but this was just as well since the recording studio was so small I felt quite claustrophobic.